Following the arrival of sometimes flawed foldable smartphones in 2019, the 2020 market will be about 3.9 million units in 2020 having moved up from 700,000 units in 2019. Thereafter growth will be essentially linear moving from about 11.1 million units in 2021 and on to 20.7 million units in 2022.
Foldable AMOLEDs allow conventionally-sized displays to be contained in smaller equipment or conventionally-sized smartphones to have larger displays.
"The foldable-display smartphone market was initiated in 2019, with the introduction of models from Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo and Royole. However, shipments were limited last year due to the extremely high pricing and low reliability of these models. Despite these challenges, smartphone OEMs are making increasing use of foldable AMOLED displays in 2020, as they propagate the technology through their product lines," said Jerry Kang, senior principal analyst at Omdia.
Global foldable AMOLED display unit forecast 2019 to 2026 (millions of units). Source: Omdia.
So far six smartphones with foldable displays have been launched in the market but most have had release dates postponed due to yield and reliability issues.
"The foldable display market could grow much more rapidly if the reliability of foldable cover lenses, touch sensors and polarizer films is improved,” Kang said. "To enhance foldable display durability, panel suppliers need to adopt innovations including ultrathin glass covers, touch sensor on thin-film-encapsulation and color filter on thin-film-encapsulation."
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